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Rwandan company has set up a gold refinery plant in Kigali to refine all their gold instead of exporting it as raw

The $5m gold refinery is located at the Kigali special economic zone and started operations in March 2019. The refinery is an initiative of Aldango, a local company that deals in minerals. The refinery has the capacity to process 6 tonnes of gold a month equivalent to 220Kg per day and will be expanded as demand increases.

According to the chairman of the company, the factory is built with the same standard as those found in Europe and Asia.  The company will buy raw gold from the country and around the continent and process it into high quality finished gold. The company already has access to the international market. The country hopes that the refinery will complement its efforts in achieving a revenue target of $1.5 billion from mineral exports by 2024.

Adding value to resources in Rwanda

Even though most African countries have abundant mineral resources, they are exported raw outside the continent. As a result, the African countries experience loss in potential revenues as well as jobs. Aldango is a Rwandan based company that specialises in the metal industry.

The company realised that even though Rwanda had deposits of precious metal resources, it had no refining capabilities. Hence, it grabbed this opportunity to set-up this refinery that will now process all the gold mined in the country as well as from the surrounding countries. The company will also expand its capacity as demand increases.

Benefits of the gold refinery to Rwanda

Instead of Rwanda exporting raw metals and earning less revenues, they will now export them in processed form consequently earning much higher revenues. The plant will also provide both direct and indirect employment to the Rwandan population. Similarly, the government will also earn more tax revenues from both the company and its employees. moreover, the company has intentions to expand to processing other precious metals and further contributing towards the socio-economic development of Rwanda.

What Africa governments need to do to follow in Rwanda’s footsteps?

Firstly, the Rwandan government realized that it is the private sector that will lead the economic growth of the country. As a result, through the visionary leadership of President Kagame, he created the enabling environment that will make businesses thrive in the country. For instance, Rwanda is now ranked among the top countries in the world in ease of doing business.

Secondly, transparency in the government as demonstrated by the e-procurement portal of the country which gives suppliers and buyers confidence and transparency in procuring goods and services.

Finally, President Kagame through his political-will made sure that all the policies with regards to ease of doing business and transparency in government transactions, are followed through and executed.

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Rwanda is the first African country with an electronic government procurement system (e-GP) and it has improved transparency and reduced corruption.

Rwanda has become the first African country to establish an electronic government procurement system (e-GP). This e-GP system has several benefits such as improving transparency and efficiency and reducing corruption. Officials from the government traveled to Korea to study how the Korean electronic procurement system worked. This followed the passing of the 2007 procurement law. A feasibility study was done conducted with the help o the world bank to implement the system. Rwanda decided to name the system UMUCYO which means transparency in the local language. The government rolled out UMUCYO nationwide in July 2017. Currently, the only government institutions not sing UMUCYO are schools, district hospitals, and health centers. It is planned to be extended to them in 2019/2020.

What is UMUCYO

UMUCYO facilitates the interactions of government to business services (G2B) through automation of the public procurement process. The online system enables the government to buy goods and services. This, in turn, aids the government to deliver efficient public procurement through standardization of electronic documents, supplier registration, goods and services information.

UMUCYO is a one-stop-shop for Rwandan procuring entities that enable them to negotiate improved contract terms as well as monetary and quality benefits.

Furthermore, less marketing efforts are required from suppliers because of increased access to markets provided by the platform. Similarly, the system ensures order accuracy as well as efficient quotation mechanisms.

Benefits of UMUCYO

The system has saved time and reduced costs for both public officials and contractors because the need for in-person visits as well as printing costs has been eliminated by the system.

Moreover, procurement management by government institutions have been greatly improved. Additionally, corruption and fraud have been drastically reduced as there is no in-person contact with bidders. Similarly, complaints are lodged and responded to via the E-procurement system handling it in a transparent manner.

In a nutshell, as described by the director-general of Rwanda public procurement authority, UMUCYO saves transaction time and at the same time enabling transparency, competition, fairness and providing value for money.

e-procurement to fight corruption in other Africa countries

Corruption has continue to plague almost all African countries. The corruption plague is even more prominent in government institutions especially in the area of procurement. The majority of government funds are embezzled in shady procurement deals.

If other African countries adopt an E-procurement system, corruption will be drastically reduced within a few short years. This is because it enables transparency in deals as well as resolving complaints. It will also enable competition and consequently enable quality work to be done. E-procurement is the most sustainable way of fighting corruption in Africa in the long-term.

Rwanda the “Wakanda” of Africa

Rwanda is currently serving as a model on how a country should be efficiently run. The government is pro-technology and innovation. This is made possible by providing a conducive environment for doing business. It is now easier to start and run a business in Rwanda than in most developed nations.

As a result of these reforms, tech start-ups, world-class universities and industries are locating to the country. Even though the country is land-locked, it recently inaugurated a dry-port to serve as a transport port hub in central Africa.

Rwanda is leading and showing the way for other African countries. The question is are other African countries ready to learn from Rwanda?

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